What little I know of the lyrics from Tim McGraw’s song, Live Like You Were Dying, came to mind as I read 3.9.6 of this week’s assignment, but with a twist: Live Like You Are Dead . . . To the World! Calvin by no means endorses an ascetic lifestyle, but he does call us to live as those who are dead to the world in light of the future resurrection. So if faced with a terminal prognosis, Calvin doesn’t advise a frenetic effort to soak up all that “Vanity Fair” has to offer.
Calvin went on in chapter 10 of book 3 to navigate skillfully between the two extremes of mistaken strictness and laxity when it comes to enjoying the things of this life. In 3.10.2 Calvin exhorts his readers to delight in the gifts God has given for the purposes of delight and good cheer, while not using them indulgently (3.10.3).
I found myself making notes in so many passages of this week’s assignment and agreeing with Sinclair Ferguson (who did the blogs for this series) that there are so many good one-liners in the Institutes that they really do deserve multiple readings.
I encourage reading all of the Sinclair Ferguson’s blogs on the Reformation 21 site for this week’s assignments (please follow links below).
Links to Reformation 21 blogs through the Institutes: